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Ultraframe Wins at Best Factory Awards

27th September 2007

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Market leading conservatory roofing manufacturer, ultraframe, has won an award for Best Engineering Plant at the prestigious Best Factory Awards (BFA).

Now in their 16th year the Awards acknowledge and reward manufacturing companies that demonstrate pioneering working practices. Organised by Works Management magazine, in partnership with Cranfield School of Management, BFA stands apart from other awards schemes because of their rigorous judging procedures, which examine every aspect of operational and manufacturing management performance. Entering these awards is about benchmarking, the detailed entry procedure that encourages business to evaluate KPIs across the breadth of the company, and the in-depth judging visits where a business is truly measured by a team of experts.

Ultraframe was thrilled to be nominated for Best Engineering Plant, People Management, Supply Chain and the Judges Special Award and were short listed amongst high calibre companies including Coca Cola and Coors.

Ultraframe’s Operations Director commented, “We are thrilled to have won the Best Engineering Plant Award as it acknowledges the company’s hard work and forward thinking to create new and more efficient practices. The Operations team has worked extremely hard over the last 18 months to streamline our processes and our hard work has been reflected in this award, which is a fantastic boost for all those back at Clitheroe.”

Selection of the category award winners is made by a team of assessors led by Dr Marek Szwejczewski (Director of the Best Factory Awards) from Cranfield School of Management. The selection process consists of two distinct stages. The first stage of the selection process is based on an audit questionnaire completed by each participating organisation. At this stage all of the participating factories are anonymous. The best factories identified by analysis of the questionnaires are short-listed for consideration as prospective category award winners. Only if a factory has been short-listed is its identity revealed to the judges.

The short-listed plants are then invited to participate in the second stage of the competition. This involves a plant visit by the team of assessors. The team of assessors is made up of experienced individuals from the Cranfield School of Management, the Institute of Electrical Engineers and other institutions. During the visit the judges meet with management and the workforce and tour the site.

In making their selection the judges take into account several criteria, some of which are:
· Operating performance measures in comparison with other factories in the same industrial sector.
· Rates of performance improvement
· The quality and effectiveness of the systems in place to ensure continuous improvement
· The quality of management leadership and strategic thinking
· The extent to which the factory meets the criteria for world-class manufacturing

The impressive win was announced at an award winner’s lunch at the London Park Lane Hotel in Mid September, which was attended by 20 members of the Ultraframe Operations Team.

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